A West Midlands restaurant owner has been ordered to pay more than £3,000 in fines and court costs after failing to meet requests for peanut-free meals.
Trading standards officers requested peanut-free dishes when visiting Mozalicious Indian restaurant in Langley, Oldbury, but investigations revealed a butter lamb meal contained enough of the nut to induce a potentially fatal reaction.
Owner Afsar Ali, 31, tried to convince Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court that the officers had not requested meals free from peanut, but his claims were not accepted. He was found guilty of providing food was not of the quality demanded and that was unsafe.
Environmental health officers had carried out a food hygiene inspection at the same time and found that staff were failing to follow strict allergen control procedures, with a chef using the same spoon for nut power, as other ingredients.
Ali was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay costs of £1,854.40 as well as a £120 victim surcharge.
Cllr Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “The restaurant in this case was told on two separate occasions by the officers that the meals needed to be peanut-free.
“If the meals had been served to someone genuinely suffering from a peanut allergy, then the consequences could have been fatal.
“Our officers have worked hard and continue to work hard to provide all food businesses in Sandwell with information about allergen control to protect our residents and prevent incidents like this occurring.
“Our advice is that if a restaurant is not able to provide meals that are free of allergens them they should not offer to do so.”